Trial begins for bar owner charged in death of country musician Wayne Mills

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Wayne Mills

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The trial of a Nashville bar owner accused of killing country musician Wayne Mills began Monday with jury selection.  Chris Ferrell, 46, is facing a second-degree murder charge in Mills’ death.  Ferrell shot Mills on Nov. 23, 2013, at Pit and Barrel, a downtown bar that has since shut down.

A dispute about whether Mills could smoke in the bar apparently led to three shots being fired. The third hit Mills, 44, in the head. Ferrell turned himself in about two weeks later, after he was charged in the shooting. He told police he shot Mills in self-defense.

In court Monday, while handling final motions before trial, Ferrell’s attorney, David Raybin, said Mills first threatened Ferrell and smashed a glass on the floor, prompting Ferrell to draw a .22-caliber handgun. Fourteen jurors — including two alternates — will hear evidence in the trial.